Lucky Luke Vol 53: Nitroglycerin

By Morris & Lo Hartog Van Banda
Publisher: Cinebook
ISBN: 9781849182546

In Nitroglycerin Lucky Luke has trouble coming from all directions as two competing railroad companies find themselves at loggerheads. To gain an advantage one opts for an underhand game of espionage and violence to thwart the other. To make matters worse, Luke is charged with protecting a shipment of nitroglycerin from the miscreants, but this highly volatile explosive is being transported by train and promises not to be the smoothest of journeys. Worse still, an earlier accident allowed the infamous Daltons to escape, and now they’re after the crate being protected by Luke under the misapprehension that it must contain gold. All the ingredients needed for plenty of miscommunication, foolhardiness, criminality, desperate chases and heroic exploits.

Morris gets to work with many writers after the untimely departure of Goscinny, and each bring their unique but subtle twist to their tale. No doubt this is tempered somewhat by the consistency of Morris working on the art, so any creases get ironed out early on. In this tale the caper is madcap and action-packed, relying on lots of visual humour as the train carrying the dangerous cargo is sent back and forth along the tracks, so Lo Hartog Van Banda brings a different pacing but one that still fits comfortably within the format. I’m always apprehensive about different writers working on an established series, but there’s no cause for worry here.

Action sequences also require a different approach to the illustration, and I’m sure Morris didn’t object to the opportunity to flex his drawing muscles. There are some nicely executed widescreen panels maximising the movement of the train and the subsequent chase. Pleasing to know that there’s lots to enjoy here, evidencing why this series has remained fresh over so many years.

And if you liked that: So many to choose from now over at

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